Protein Tomography is a new technology developed to address critical issues around drug target validation and translational medicine in the pharmaceutical industry, improving target validation processes and shortening development time for new pharmaceuticals.
The technology consists of electron microscopy instrumentation, proprietary data acquisition and reconstruction software as well as scientific expertise to enable the imaging and analysis of individual protein molecules in cells and tissues.
FEI and Sidec offer this as a service through Sidec, as an on-premises service, or through software and other intellectual property license arrangement combined with a transmission electron microscopes (TEM) system sale.
Based on current market practices, Protein Tomography is estimated to be a $200m market (€168m) in the US with the potential to grow several fold within a few years.
"Understanding drug targets and the disease mechanisms on a molecular level is extremely difficult, resulting in severe problems when translating bench research into human biology," commented Hans Johansson, president and CEO of Sidec.
"Many drugs fail when they progress from pre-clinical studies to clinical trials. Imaging and comparing drug targets from different species using Protein Tomography provides insight into the molecular differences underlying this attrition."
As the pharmaceutical industry moves from the genomics to the proteomics era, The goal in employing NanoBiology is to accelerate the development of computational modelling and informatics software that will enable scientists and engineers to apply nanotechnology to key areas of biological research, including diagnostics, biosensing, drug delivery and biomaterial design.
The application of nanotechnology within biological research has the potential to have a radical impact on personalised medicine, systems biology, and the environment.
The hope is the FEI and Sidec, and similar collaborations will be able to develop solutions researchers need to work at the nanoscale in several areas of biological research.